|Other People | Frank J. Bradley | Olive Rambo Cook | Jerry Litton ||
Past and Present of Livingston County
Volume 2. Biographies
by Major A. J. Roof. 1913
James B. Leeper, who owns a highly improved farm of one hundred and thirteen acres on section 7, Jackson township, Livingston county, is a member of an old pioneer family of Missouri and this county, having been born in Jackson township on the 7th of March, 1875, a son of Daniel S. and Annie (Blakey) Leeper. John Leeper, the paternal grandfather, was a pioneer merchant of Spring Hill, Missouri, and was the first packer in that part of the country, hauling his merchandise across the plains to Nebraska City, Nebraska, and experiencing exciting adventures during his trips on account of the Indians in those early days. The grandmother who was a Miss Amanda Boyle in her maidenhood, reached the advanced age of ninety-eight years and resided in Chillicothe. Missouri, until her demise in 1913, having the distinction of being at that time the oldest pioneer woman in the county. She was in perfect health, and bodily and mentally well for one of her great age, until a few days before her death. The maternal grandfather of James B. Leeper was as Benjamin B. Blakey, the father of a large family of fourteen children, all of whom became well known in the walks of life they selected and turned out to be a credit to the name. The grandfather was the owner of extensive land interests in Clay county, Missouri, where he held title to sixteen hundred acres.
Daniel S. Leeper, the father of our subject, was also one of the early pioneers of Livingston county, where he devoted his life to agricultural labors, being successful along that line. He and his wife now reside in Jackson township. In their family were the following children, one of whom died in infancy: Joseph H.; James B., of this review; Mary E., the widow of Lewis Boyle, Jr.; Amanda B., who married William Stinchcomb; Annie L., the wife of Archibald Ramsey and Daniel L.
James B. Leeper was reared under the parental roof and received his education in the district schools near his father's farm in this county, laying aside his text-books at the age of sixteen years. He then assisted in the work of the home farm, becoming acquainted with the thorough methods of agriculture his father employed and remaining there until he reached his majority, when he purchased forty acres of land on which he started out as an agriculturist on his own account. Gradually he brought this tract to a state of high cultivation and by incessant work and frugal living was enabled to add to his original purchase until he is now the owner of one hundred
and thirteen acres. He engages in general farming, following most modern and scientific methods, and also specializes along of stock-raising. He has remodeled his outbuildings, including and sheds, and has partially rebuilt and refitted them, also instituting such equipment as he his deemed essential to obtaining the best results from his farm. Some time previously he and his brother Joseph cultivated, as partners, over five hundred acres of land, this connection maintaining for four years. He had given his attention to this farm for three years before the partnership was effected, the property being known as the G. W. Dennis farm.
On January 14, 1900, Mr. Leeper was united in marriage to Miss Ida M. Robinson, a daughter of William P. and Mary (Walls) Robinson. The mother, who is a daughter of James and Elizabeth (Nickerson) Walls, is the daughter of one of the early settlers of the county who came here when primitive conditions prevailed and the Indians roamed about freely, having their camps on the Grand river. At that time wild game was still plentiful and when Mr. Walls took up land here it was covered with brush and timber. He subsequently became one of the most prosperous farmers of his section, well known and well liked. Mr. and Mrs. Leeper are the parents of two children; R. Beatrice, attending district school; and Fern L., three years of age.
Politically Mr. Leeper is a democrat, taking an interest in all matters that affect the public weal and giving evidence of his public spirit by service tendered in the position of member of the Jackson township board. His religious affiliation is with the Baptist church of Shelburn, Missouri, and fraternally he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. A man of modern views, he has by wise and intelligent management, progressive methods, thrift and industry gained success and is accounted one of the substantial agriculturists of Livingston county, where he is highly regarded by all who know him for his many estimable qualities of character.